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Using social media for customer service in the HVAC industry

Social media for customer service – always be on!

As we mentioned in our last post, most people expect responses to Twitter queries within 2 hours of posing a question. And while this might be easy to manage during a 9-5 working day, how do you use social media for customer service outside of office hours?

After all, service issues in the home are more likely to occur in the evenings and weekends, when people are in the house and using HVAC equipment and appliances more frequently. Home users can be anxious and persistent with their queries and service companies can easily to manage their complaint timeline effectively using social media.

State office hours

Manage your customer’s expectations by ensuring that all your social media accounts clearly state your regular office open hours and emergency contact details where appropriate. If your emergency service is staffed by another agency, be sure to make their information clearly available as well. This might seem like ‘Social Media Policy 101’ but you’d be surprised the number of business accounts on all platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc) who neglect this essential information!

Yes to automatic responses

While we wouldn’t recommend setting up an auto-response indefinitely, an auto-response done properly gives customers the satisfaction of an immediate answer on social media, along with additional information that they may not be easily able to access.

Take, for example, an auto-response on Facebook messages. Here you can set your office hours and manage any direct messages through the normal channels in a regular working day. Once your office closes, however, it’s as simple as turning on a switch on your page. You can tailor your automatic responses to include information such as emergency contact details, a link to FAQ on your website, and explain to your customers when to expect direct contact from a staff member.

‘Thank you for contacting ABC Air Conditioning, our office hours are 9-5, Monday to Friday. If you have an emergency you can ring this Freephone number XXX XXX XXX for assistance. Alternatively, please leave us your account number and contact telephone number and we will be right in touch once we’re back in the office.’

Thank customers For engaging on social media

When you gain a new follower you might like to thank them for following you and give them additional information about your company or services. While you can’t technically send automatic responses directly using Twitter itself, there are a number of third-party apps that allow you to respond to new followers, providing you’re not sending ‘spammy’ content.

Crowdfire, for example, is a handy social media management platform that manages direct messages to new followers with style. Think about how you would like your first contact with a new customer to come across and what kind of message you’d like to share. You can also send bulk direct messages to all your contacts if you have some good news to share or something important that you’d rather not clutter up your Twitter feed with.

‘Thanks for following ABC Air Conditioning, we can be contacted on this number XXX XXX XXX if you’d like to discuss your air conditioning needs. Please feel free to get in touch if we can help you in any way!’

Better quality of life

In this ‘always on’ social media age, it is easy for staff and management to get sucked into answering social media queries 24/7. By setting up automatic responses and managing queries within your office hours, you and your staff will benefit from a better quality of life.

Do you think that setting up monitored automatic social media responses will benefit your company this year?

Featured image thanks to B. Mills.

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